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Author Topic: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  (Read 1769778 times)
drinkanddestroy
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« Reply #13845 on: August 28, 2014, 09:21:23 PM »

An Act of Murder (1948) 7.5/10

Fredric March plays a strict, by-the-book judge, who believes the law is the law, period (by today's standards, you might call it conservative). Edmond O'Brien is a lawyer who is arguing a case in his court (and also dating March's daughter - as if that could ever happen; no conflict of interest  Wink ) and he wants March to try to understand circumstances, spirit of the law, feelings, etc., what you might call a liberal view of the law

Then, March learns that his wife has been diagnosed with a deadly, and terrible painful disease..... and he starts to wonder about "mercy killing." It is illegal, but is it immoral?

SPOILER ALERT TILL END OF POST

I probably would have preferred if the movie had stuck to the issue of mercy killing; when it tries to use that issue to explore the more broad issue of legal interpretation in general, I wasn't interested in that. Especially cuz it mostly comes in a big speech at the end, when March gives a big speech explaining that he has realized his view on the role of judges/law was wrong; that he shouldn't have looked at law as final, but he should have broadly looked at all circumstances, situations, understanding, humamn complexity, blah blah blah.

However, the question about mercy killing is an interesting one, (years before Million Dollar Baby, though MDB doesn't address moral right vs. wrong, the killing simply happens with no moral debate, whereas An Act of Murder though ultimately taking no firm stand on whether or not mercy killing is moral does present it as a moral dilemma. One major difference between the issues in AAOM and MDB is that in AAOM, the question is whether or not it is okay for the healthy spouse to kill the living spouse without the living spouse ever knowing it; it's not like the wife askd to be killed - she didn't even know she was terminally ill. Considering that she was an adult in full control of her mind (and for the time being, her body) there is no moral way in a million years that it should be ok to kill her without her knowing -- he never told her she was sick cuz he wanted to spare her the agony.

anyway, Fredric March is a terrific actor, this movie is generally acted very well, so whether or not I agreed with all the moral stuff, I did enjoy watching it. BTW, Edmond O'Brien is another one of those guys, somehow I laugh whenever he speaks. He cracks me up even when he isn't trying to  Grin And sometimes when he speaks, he sounds just like he is reading off a script. Anyway, his facial expressions, his way of speaking, etc. crax me the hell up every time ...




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« Reply #13846 on: August 28, 2014, 09:30:16 PM »

Advise and Consent - 8/10 - Nice political drama with lots of backstabbing and posturing. Great ensemble cast, especially Charles Laughton and Burgess Meredith.

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« Reply #13847 on: August 29, 2014, 01:09:51 AM »

Advise and Consent - 8/10 - Nice political drama with lots of backstabbing and posturing. Great ensemble cast, especially Charles Laughton and Burgess Meredith.

yup, I gave this an 8.5/10. Laughton was absolutely incredible.

Billy Wilder (in Cameron Crowe's terrific book "Conversations with Wilder") says Laugton was the greatest actor ever - Wilder, of course, had directed Laughton in another terrific role, Witness for the Prosecution.

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« Reply #13848 on: August 29, 2014, 01:56:56 AM »

A Child Is Born (1939)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032333/

This movie takes place in the maternity ward of a hospital, following a bunch of women's stories:

Geraldine Fitzgerald plays a woman who was in prison for (a  questionable) murder and let out just to go to the hospital and have the baby, but who is in poor health and is questionable whether she and/or the baby can survive. (It's a black-and-white movie, Geraldine   a famous redhead seems to have darker hair than usual. I think they must have dyed her hair black for this movie, thinking that made her look more tough as a murderess.)
Gladys George - yes, it was Gladys George Day on Summer Under the Stars is an actress pregnant with twins who never wanted to get pregnant, who snuck liquor into the hospital, whose husband and co-performer is gonna find another co-performer if her labor takes too long, and who wants to get the whole thing over with, give the baby up for adoption and get the hell outta there.
Another lady is hoping desperately that she will have a healthy baby, cuz she'd been told she never could. Another lady is waiting for her firstborn, after a previous pregnancy had end in stillbirth.
Another lady is a mental patient who keeps sneaking down into the maternity ward from the mental floors upstairs, always hallucinating that she is having a baby; (one wonders if perhaps an earlier pregnancy ended in tragedy and that's what made her crazy?) Etc. Etc. Etc.
Another is a plump, middle-aged lady is about to have her eighth kid.

And the story also follows several of their husbands in the lobby waiting nervously, anxiously, excitedly, etc.

None of the women, except the last one mentioned, looks to have a belly big enough to even be in the first trimester. The only women I've seen previously are Geraldine and Gladys, and neither looks a pound bigger than i any other movie.   Grin

This isn't as bad as it sounds, but it isn't good, either. 6/10

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« Reply #13849 on: August 29, 2014, 02:46:56 PM »

----
... on Arlene Dahl Day on Summer Under the Stars.

yeah, DJ, there are good movies even on days dedicated to lesser-known supporting actors  Tongue
The movies aren't very good, but I enjoy seeing Ms. Dahl gracing the screen. Saw a terrible one where she's a bad girl sleeping her way to the top until she gets arrested and tried for murdering her husband. I kept telling myself to turn it off, but I just had to keep my eyes on Arlene's mesmerizing beauty mark.

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« Reply #13850 on: August 29, 2014, 04:45:06 PM »

American Nightmare 2/10
Not sure why I saw the whole thing.

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« Reply #13851 on: August 30, 2014, 03:07:09 AM »


Gone Baby Gone (2007) - 5/10

The complexities and dilemmas of the story come at the point when you don't care about the movie anymore.

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« Reply #13852 on: August 30, 2014, 08:55:37 AM »

Not to mention the main point of the book is the characters, and here they changed them completely.

Anyway, back from the dead? How was it?

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« Reply #13853 on: August 30, 2014, 09:01:19 AM »

Anyway, back from the dead? How was it?

I came back half alive, half... Something else.

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« Reply #13854 on: August 30, 2014, 09:02:40 AM »

Rear Window (1954) Director: Alfred Hitchcock, Writers: John Michael Hayes (screenplay), Cornell Woolrich (based on the short story by) Stars: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter, Raymond Burr, re-watch a studio set NYC, fun story, would/could have been a great Noir if it had used those stylistics. Anybody ever read the original story Cornell Woolrich's 1942 short story "It Had to Be Murder"? http://www.miettecast.com/woolrich.pdf 8/10

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« Reply #13855 on: August 30, 2014, 09:09:46 AM »



Anyway, back from the dead? How was it?

On the other had, I see you're still dead. 🎭

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« Reply #13856 on: August 30, 2014, 09:11:27 AM »

Rear Window (1954) Director: Alfred Hitchcock, Writers: John Michael Hayes (screenplay), Cornell Woolrich (based on the short story by) Stars: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter, Raymond Burr, re-watch a studio set NYC, fun story, would/could have been a great Noir if it had used those stylistics. Anybody ever read the original story Cornell Woolrich's 1942 short story "It Had to Be Murder"? http://www.miettecast.com/woolrich.pdf 8/10

How is that not a 9?

On the other had, I see you're still dead. 🎭

I've never been that alive. It's not what I do.

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« Reply #13857 on: August 30, 2014, 09:17:46 AM »

I've never been that alive. It's not what I do.

 Cheesy

I like you the way you are, don't ever forget it.💪

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« Reply #13858 on: August 30, 2014, 02:59:47 PM »

The Pawnbroker (1964) - 5/10. Rod Steiger gives an impressive performance as the title character, a Jewish concentration camp survivor who, deadened by his experience, lives now only for money. People are constantly reaching out to him, but he always refuses to take their hand (in one scene with a very frumpy Geraldine Fitzgerald, literally). If the film had only been about that it probably could have been one of the greatest films on the subject of survivor's guilt. Instead, the film piles on additional narrative material from, seemingly, other films. It turns out his Manhattan pawnbroking business (Park Ave. and E. 116th/Harlem) is really a front. The shop doesn't actually make any money (!), it's just a way to launder funds for Mr. Big (Brock Peters). Late in the film, Steiger is shocked, shocked to discover that the money he's paid comes from such unsavory activities as prostitution. This is particularly galling because, we discover in flashbacks, the pawnbroker's late wife was prostituted by the Nazis. Steiger then tries to get out from under, but he discovers he's in too deep and, anyway, his will was broken long ago. If that weren't enough, there's also a group of punks who are planning to knock off the pawnshop (huh? Don't they know it's a front? Won't they be bringing down the wrath of Mr. Big on their heads if they succeed?). Then there's the young PR kid who's working as the pawnbroker's assistant. Will he decide to betray his employer in order to get a taste of the good life?  Huh, what happened to our film about a bitter death camp survivor?

As you see, the film (and maybe the underlying source novel) tried to get too much into the story. The focus is constantly shifting, and by the end I wasn't completely sure what the film was about. There are, however, still some very nice things about the film: as previously mentioned, Steiger's performance; beautiful b&w widescreen photography of Manhattan locations circa 1962; those locations themselves, many of which no longer exist. There's an elevated train line running along Park Ave. in front of the pawnbroker's shop, and it had me stumped for a while, but a visit to IMDb provided this explanation:  
That poster seems to know what he's talking about (and, as a frequent Metro North user myself, I found the info particularly interesting). A shame the film isn't better than it is, but Olive's new Blu-ray transfer is so impressive, I probably have to re-watch it several times to experience again the Manhattan of 50 years ago.


Yes this is more od less what bothers this movie, pity cause Rod Steiger is outstanding under all that heavy makeup.

The thing they did great was capturing the blank, sterile environment the pawnbroker's been thrown into. A rarely seen and even more rarely witnessed in movies from that time,  devoid of smalltown fascination with big buildings and light, purgatory-like sight.

6/10

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« Reply #13859 on: August 30, 2014, 08:50:23 PM »

Inside Llewyn Davis - 8.5/10
Even better on the repeat viewing. Coens are brilliant.

Bernie - 7.5/10
Fun film with a unique style - shot like a documentary, though clearly aware that its fiction. Not a 'mockumentary' though, as it follows a standard narrative outside of the interview aspect. Jack Black plays his role well, and I don't think I've quite seen a movie like this before. Linklater is a damn great, underrated director... sometimes...

Waking Life - 1/10
I fucking hated this movie, and fuck Linklater. It's no more than a "try-to-be-experiental" collection of so-called "philosophical observations", when in reality it feels like the illogical ramblings of a homeless man who took too many tabs of acid. These ramblings are excellent in Linklater's other work - Dazed and Confused, Before Sunrise, Boyhood, etc. because they are done with humor, fit for the respective characters, or are obviously drug induced, giving us room to laugh at the character while they still make relatively valid points (Mason's hipster ramblings in Boyhood work so well because there's room to laugh at him - here, the only thing to laugh at is Linklater's pretentiousness). I've never seen a film that takes itself so seriously and falls so flat. I give it's 1 point for doing a decent job of creating the feel and atmosphere of a dream. That being said, the animation, while unique, is generally awful and distracting. It barely contributes to anything thematically and only helps in establishing the dream tone and creeping me the fuck out. I haven't seen a movie I hated this much in a long time, which is a shame, because even before Boyhood's success I considered Linklater to be one of the most underrated working directors. Maybe this is the type of film that requires a second viewing, but I'm sure that I will never give it that chance.

Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills - 9/10
An obviously well-acclaimed documentary, not much more needs to be said.

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